Betting on the Belmont Stakes 2024: Quick Guide - The Leamington Observer

Betting on the Belmont Stakes 2024: Quick Guide

Leamington Editorial 10th Jun, 2024 Updated: 10th Jun, 2024   0

The early summer is always a great time for UK racing fans, not least as we have the Classics and Royal Ascot to look forward to. Yet, over in the United States, the action is just as ferocious.

The months of May and June tend to mean one thing – Triple Crown season. The Triple Crown is made up of three prestigious races: the Kentucky Derby (4th May), Preakness Stakes (18th May), and the Belmont Stakes (8th June).

While no horse can win the Triple Crown this year, as we had individual winners of the Kentucky Derby (Mystik Dan) and Preakness (Seize the Grey), the final leg is shaping up to be a keenly contested affair, with many of the contenders of the previous two legs shaping up for another crack. The race goes off at 6.41pm local time on Saturday, making it about twenty to midnight in the UK. Below, we provide a quick guide to the betting:

Venue and Track Changes

Before we look at the horses, an important factor will be at play in this year’s Belmont Stakes – it won’t be held at Belmont Park. Due to extensive renovations of the latter venue, the 2024 renewal will take place at Saratoga Race Course in Upstate New York. The change of venue will impact many factors on the Belmont Stakes betting, not least due to the fact it’s going to be a shorter distance (shortened to 12f) and the track surface is different. Belmont Park is just on the outskirts of NYC proper, so the weather could also play a role.

Belmont Stakes Contenders

Usually, the best guide for Belmont Stakes glory is simply to look at the results of the previous two Triple Crown legs. Mystik Dan, who was only narrowly beaten in the Preakness Stakes, thereby ending his Triple Crown hopes, will be the top of many punters’ picks. Yet, he is unlikely to go off as race favourite. Both Mystik Dan and Seize the Grey, who won the Preakness, were mild shocks to triumph in their respective races, but they have proven themselves under pressure, so punters may lump on.

In all likelihood, we are going to get Sierra Leone and Fierceness as the morning line favourites, just as they were for the Kentucky Derby. Sierra Leone made a good account of himself in the Run for the Roses, so it’s understandable that he will be predicted to be in the mix. But Fierceness really failed to deliver, and trainer Todd Pletcher will be hoping to prove that the Kentucky Derby was a blip on an otherwise brilliant resume. Other names to look out for include Honor Marie, Tuscan Gold, Dornach, and Antiquarian.

Miscellaneous Notes for UK Bettors

While the track change is important, there are some other elements of US horse racing that UK fans should be aware of. For a start, the markets tend to be much more closed than you find with UK racing. At home, you can usually get an idea of the odds for a race months in advance – you can bet on the 2025 Grand National today, for instance – but the money for US races tends to flood in much closer to race day. The morning line odds (decided by the track) are crucially important, but they might not reflect the starting odds. Another thing to consider is that stall position tends to be much more important in US racing. As with any race, do a little research beforehand to give yourself an edge.

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